Best future host: Whose Line Is It Anyway?'s Wayne Brady out-Crystaled Billy Crystal in his clever TV-themed song medley. Forget a guest shot on Friends as "Rachel's dark-skinned cousin, Raheem," and get this engaging song-and-dance (and improv) man an Oscar-hosting gig.
Funniest clip sequence: Instead of showcasing his own nominated show, Conan O'Brien showed a medley of film clips from the movie career of Charlton Heston (Planet of the Apes, Ben-Hur). "It's a madhouse, a madhouse," as Chuck would have said.
Most popular on the red carpet: Sure, the crowd went wild for Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston, but it was Survivor's Rudy, the first celeb to arrive at the Emmys, who had the bleacher bunch chanting his name.
Casting commandment: Burly, white-haired Brian Dennehy, in town to bring his Tony-winning and Emmy-nominated performance in Death of a Salesman to the Los Angeles stage, seems born to play Democratic patriarch Ted Kennedy.
Most discussed topic backstage: The support for the Screen Actors Guild commercial actors strike (which actors honored by wearing a yellow ribbon) and the possibility of a writers' strike and a feature-film actors' strike.
John Wells, a producer of The West Wing and the president of the Writers' Guild: "There's been a lot of saber-rattling but I'm not convinced that there's going to be a strike — that's the Writers' Guild's hope."
Sela Ward, of Once & Again and a spokeswoman for Sprint: "I forgot my ribbon at home but I'm supporting the strike. I survived on commercials for many years."